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Academics and Hockey a Perfect Match for Morello

Academics and hockey are proving to be a successful combination for another St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) student bound for the NCAA.

Jonathan Morello, a Grade 11 student has recently earned a scholarship to Clarkson University to continue his academic journey and compete in Division I hockey.

Jonathan Morello, Gr. 11 SMCS student playing hockey
Photo courtesy of: Timothy Bates, OJHL Images

“A major part of my decision came down to the coaching staff and the team culture at Clarkson,” says Morello. “The confidence the coaches showed in me as a player and how they see me developing over the next few years was a big part of my choice. I was also impressed by the overall hockey training programme and facilities.”

At SMCS, Morello’s commitment to academics has been evident and played a significant role in his decision. He has been a perennial honour roll student since entering SMCS in Grade 7, boasting an average of over 90 per cent in three of his first four years at the school.

Jonathan Morello, Gr. 11 SMCS student playing hockey
Photo courtesy of: Timothy Bates, OJHL Images

“I am not completely certain of what I am going to study, but I am interested in the highly respected engineering and management undergraduate programme which combines engineering knowledge and business strategies,” says Morello. “Clarkson’s class size and professor-to-student ratio are very much like St. Mike’s. It is a great self-contained university campus with great access to resources.”

Morello’s high school career has also been complemented by a busy co-curricular schedule, playing school hockey, lacrosse, and volleyball during his time at SMCS.

“I have always been impressed by Jonathan’s positive attitude, relentless work ethic, and attention to detail,” says Morello’s former coach and SMCS faculty member, Paul Ruta. “When I first met him when he was 12 years old, I quickly realized he was a goal-oriented student-athlete who is very diligent, personable, and someone who was able to find a nice balance between his academics and high-level athletic schedule.

“I have had the opportunity to work with him closely over the last few years and admire his commitment to improving his weaknesses every single day. Jonathan is extremely coachable and is always focused on the process rather than the end result.”

On the ice, Morello grew up playing in the GTHL and was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) by the Erie Otters in the 13th round of the Priority Selection. Ultimately, he decided to graduate from SMCS and pursue D1 hockey.

Currently, the star forward is in his rookie season with the St. Michael’s Buzzers Jr. A team with plans of playing at least another season of junior hockey before joining Clarkson’s flagship team.

“There is a lot of focus and attention on the hockey programme as it is Clarkson’s only D1 sport, which is a huge positive for me,” adds Morello. “Their hockey facilities really impressed me and they have so many tools and new technologies that players can use to improve their game.”

Jonathan Morello, Gr. 11 SMCS student playing hockey
Photo courtesy of: Timothy Bates, OJHL Images

While Morello still has over a year left before graduating from SMCS, the impact the school has made on him from an academic, athletic, and personal growth perspective has already left a substantial impression on him.

“In my fifth year at St. Mike’s, I have noticed how this school has contributed to my growth as a person, student, and player,” says Morello. “While academics are the priority, there is a foundational culture of goodness, compassion, and discipline that transcends my studies and influences many aspects of my life. The opportunity to combine my interest with sports in school has been an amazing experience. SMCS has created an environment to allow focused students the opportunity to pursue sports at a very high level. For me, it was volleyball, hockey, and lacrosse. I have been given the tools to be able to push beyond what I thought I was capable of. I will be forever grateful for my life at SMCS.”

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